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Friday, February 22, 2002

Eagles teams face Loboes, Bucks squads

The Pecos Eagles and Monahans Loboes have made a tradition of their two-game season openers to the high school baseball season, in the six years since the Eagles and Loboes were moved out of the same district.

Pecos and Monahans will be back together as members of District 4-3A next year, so this will be the final season the teams will face each other to kick of varsity baseball play, starting tonight, when the Eagles travel to Monahans to face the Loboes in a 7 p.m. game.

On Saturday, Pecos will play its home opener against Monahans, in a 1 p.m. start. Coach Bubba Williams said it would be the only game of the day, after Monahans said most of its JV players would be participating in Saturday's Sandhills Relays. The JV teams will play before tonight's varsity game in Monahans, starting at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Pecos' girls' softball team will play their home opener at 5 p.m. today against the Alpine Bucks, after opening their season last weekend at the Andrews Tournament.

The Eagles and Loboes actually have been face each other more in recent years, even though they haven't been district rivals since 1996. "We played Monahans last year five times. They went to the regional semifinals last year and we beat them five times _ we only lost that first meeting with them," Williams said. "They've got most of their players back and we've got most of ours, so it should be a good game."

Pecos ended up falling in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs to Canyon, which handed Barney Rodriguez his only loss of the season. He got his first win a year ago against Monahans after missing the first couple of weeks of the season, and will start on the mound tonight against the Loboes.

"We've got to go out and play good defense behind Barney. He's not pitching at the pace he was last season right now, but he's going to come through for us," Williams said, after Rodriguez had a rough first inning on the mound against Presidio in a Feb. 12 scrimmage.

While Pecos started last season without Rodriguez, they'll begin this year without another pitcher, Capi Magana. Richard Rodriguez will start Saturday's game on the mound, Williams said.

"Capi and Richard threw pretty good against Odessa High (in last Saturday's scrimmage), but we haven't been hitting the ball like I feel we will," Williams said. "That will come, and I think their pitching had something to do with that."

Williams said the Eagles would have a couple of changes in their line-up on defense tonight from last season. Rodriguez will be at shortstop while Lorenzo Serrano will start at second base, and Rigo Ramirez will move in from center field to play first base and will be replaced out there by Oscar Parada. Freddie Torres will be the other new player for Pecos, in left field, while catcher Mason Abila, third baseman Matthew Levario and right fielder David Elkins return for Pecos.

With Rodriguez pitching on Saturday, Williams said, "I'll have to make a few changes. Matthew will move over to shortstop and Oscar will come in to play third. Rigo will go back to center and Barney will play first base."

While the Eagles play in Monahans tonight, Pecos' girls will be at home against Alpine. The Eagles and Bucks were scheduled to start the season against each other on Feb. 12, but that game was canceled after Alpine advanced to the area round of the Class 3A basketball playoffs.

Pecos opened its 2002 season last weekend by going 2-3 at Andrews, losing close games to Midland Trinity, El Paso Eastwood and Lubbock Coronado while winning a couple of close games over Denver City and Lubbock High. They were scheduled to play their home opener on Tuesday against Fort Stockton, but that game was canceled due to TAAS testing.

Pecos Jr. Relays, Sandhills open track seasons

The Pecos Eagles' junior high track teams will get a one-day jump on the varsity squads in opening their 2002 seasons, when Pecos hosts six other teams today in the West of the Pecos Junior Relays.

Events will begin at 4 p.m. and run through the evening at Eagle Stadium for the seventh and eighth grade boys and girls. Pecos' high school teams will start their seasons on Saturday, with the Sandhills Relays in Monahans, and will close out regular season competition in April at Eagle Stadium with the District 2-4A track meet.

Coach Jose Gonzales said along with the Eagles, Monahans, Fort Stockton, Presidio, Crane, Buena Vista and Van Horn would have teams entered in today's junior high meet. The events will begin with the girls running finals and the boys field events at 4 p.m. Around 6:30 p.m., the boys will begin their running finals, while the girls' field events will start.

Gonzales said about 45 boys and 35 girls in seventh and eighth grades are participating in track this season for Pecos. Last season, Fort Stockton won the seventh grade division at the West of the Pecos Junior Relays, while Monahans took the boys title in eighth grade and both of the girls' divisions.

The Sandhills Relays in Monahans will feature the host Loboes, along with Big Spring, Fort Stockton, Midland Greenwood, Alpine, Crane, Kermit, Seminole and Van Horn in the boys division. All of those teams except for Big Spring will be entered in the girls division.

Field events will begin at 9 a.m. with the discus, girls' high jump and pole vault and boys discus, triple jump and high jump. The other field events will begin at 10:30 a.m., while the running events are scheduled to begin with the finals of the 3200 meter run at 9 a.m. Running preliminaries in the other events will follow, and the remaining finals will start at 4:10 p.m., with the finals of the 400 meter relay.

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Pecos Enterprise
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